If you are a beauty junkie, there is no chance to boggle your mind with accolades about how gorgeous the complexion of Japanese girls is. It’s not that those women never age, yet they try to keep the best skin at every stage of life. Japanese rituals guide them to take aging naturally and show devotion to the self-love.
Unlike what I was usually doing, this time I want to share my review of a book, titled Pure Skin: Discover The Japanese Ritual Of Glowing by Victoria Tsai. For those who are so new to the Japanese approach, you are going to get a kick out of it.
1. Fascinatingly Get to Know Japanese Skincare in Geisha’s Wisdom
In the very beginning, Victoria Tsai gradually narrates her life story in a very candid way. By chance, she learned the Japanese Skincare Ritual that amazingly cured her chronic skin problems. From that, readers can perceive how her endless bond with it was born. The author’s love is genuinely pure and tremendous. Not too long or too short, it’s enough to get us to understand why this means a world to her and then, initiates her passion to launch Tatcha. The name comes from her respect and admiration for the Japanese artistry of simplicity.
Honestly, once I noticed that the book was written by the founder of Tatcha Cosmetics, in the first place, I thought that it would end up being boring for selling products. Otherwise, the book turns out to be much more than that. So far, it’s meticulous, profound and inspirational. And, of course, that may eventually make you dying to try those Tatcha skincare goodies.
The introduction is really good to make you find it refreshing and intriguing, especially if you are one of those who have been following either Western or Korean skincare routines, like me. Maybe this actually triggers our new approach. Who knows?
I literally enjoy reading the book, inspired by the Japanese Beauty Realm of Geisha in Kyoto. After that, there is a short trivia about these elusive women with graceful gestures, opaque white makeup, rouge heart-shaped lips and 40-pound ceremonial kimono. It’s quite compelling, this really recalls my favourite childhood movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.
Spoiler Alert, ladies! You are going to explore their four-step skincare regimen and time-tested natural ingredients, which have long been existing for centuries. Moreover, this helps you pick right skincare products and routines that effectively work for your skin’s needs. All of the Geisha beauty secrets are actually recorded in the oldest three-volume tome, titled Miyakofuzoku Kewaiden (Capital Beauty and Style Handbook). In fact, Tsai also did share that on the Elle Magazine.
But, the Manual seems gone missing and now, the author is eager to reveal her findings in this book. Highly recommended to the novices of Japanese skincare. Whether you are into Eastern or Western rituals. Either way, the book will be worth your time.
2. Quite Biased Points of Views About “East Versus West” or “Japanese Versus Western”
As I said, I love the book as well as how upfront Tsai is to articulate her knowledge and feelings in it. Except for one thing that I find pretty inconvincible.
In the book, you will go through a session that is “East versus West: What I learned about Japanese Skin Care.” I really expected that she would clarify the differences between East and West in relation to the beautification. Or, point out the reason that Japanese skincare is very beneficial to us, compared to the Western and Eastern approaches in general. That may be more persuasive for why I should choose Japanese skincare over the rest.
In regard to her “Less is More,” she assumes that “Western women tend to focus much more on makeup than on skincare, accumulating an impressive collection of lipstick, eyeshadows and highlighters from a young age.” In contrast, Japanese women are inclined to gently treat their skin with cleanser, moisturizer or treatment, which are essentially infused with “the minimum number of ingredients to ensure efficacy.”
Further, the author also noted that Western skincare tends to be more aggressive, such as astringent essences or alcohol-based toners. That could strip skin away. On the other hand, Japanese products are gentler.
Overall, I admit that western women love doing makeup. It can not quickly jump into the conclusion that they are not seriously concerned with their skin’s well-being, though. In the West, people have switched to favor organic and ecologically-minded products for non-toxic nourishment. The Western skincare market has been remarkably soaring.
For example, pay a visit to the French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Look and Feel Beautiful Inside Out by Mathilde Thomas, the founder of Caudalie Skincare brand. French women learn skincare from their mothers as great skin is ingrained in their family tradition. Her skincare line is based on the proven aging-reversal science of red wine, which boasts antioxidant (resveratrol) of grape extract.
On the other hand, get to know hands-off beauty secrets from Scandinavian women with a glowing complexion. They worship “less is more” and formulate naturally pure resources from the Scandinavian environment, such as glacier water and cloudberries.
Either you give yourself up to the Western or Eastern approach, I think, your skincare is definitely applied in a certain order and it’s gonna be beneficial to your skin to a certain extent. Of course, the efficacy of the skincare routine depends on your products that are supposedly cut out for your skin types.
Plus, double cleansing and moisturizing as well as avoiding stress and sleep deprivation are paramount in both Western and Eastern Worlds. The book kicks off quite smoothly. But then, I just couldn’t find it persuasive much, when the author keeps coming up a sort of biased comparison between the Western and Japanese approaches. It may end up being fairly controversial. I’m an Asian girl, still following my Eastern skincare regimen which I’m comfortable with. Nevertheless, to be fair, a lot of girls out there still feel great emulating Western skincare regimens.
Not to mention the fact that, when referring to the “West” and “East,” which goes beyond the short conversation of summing up. the discussion seems to overlook the varieties of Eastern skincare, typically South Korea. Renowned for baby-like, glass-like or flawless skin, it has had a huge influence on the global beauty community for decades.
Nevertheless, Japanese table manners and traditional cuisine are undisputedly fresh and nutritional, such as rice, vegetables, miso soup, grains and fruits. Japan has a very long life expectancy and low obesity rate, compared to Western nations. So, I agree with the high awareness of the connection between diet and skin in Japan rather than the West. Foods with essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids deliver ultimate nourishment to the human body and hence, skin. It’s fantastic that the book gets us some recipes of clear, glowing skin diet.
3. Very Insightful Observations of Japanese Skincare Routine and Natural Ingredients
Victoria Tsai is so considerate when demonstrating all steps of the regimen. Well organized and detailed, it consists of Cleansing, Exfoliating, Plumping (essence) and Moisturizing. This is pretty standard for the East and even, the West. So awesome for Asian girls who may have got overwhelmed by the iconic 10-step skincare routine of the K-beauty. It’s not too late to start over with the less complicated and less time-consuming approach, which still ensures your fabulous looking skin.
Simultaneously, readers are about to learn numerous natural ingredients and products that deliver “mochi hada (rice-cake)” looking complexion. For instance, camellia, macadamia nut and rice bran oils can work as cleansing oils to draw out the buildup of makeup, excessive sebum and pollution from pores. Or, enzyme-rich rice powder is used as an exfoliant to gently slough off dead skin cells. Oops, spoiler alert!
The author is very willing to explain which ingredients are go-to in every single step of the ritual as well as the best time of day to do your skincare routine. For therapeutic enhancements, readers will practice sensorial facial massage based on watercolor face charts, while applying skincare products in the morning and evening. While pampering yourself with the four-step skincare ritual, do not forget to apply sunscreen every morning. The book will brief you through some main points about how crucial sun protection is and the right types of sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection.
Then, she walks us through some more lectures about a variety of botanical extracts, packed with incredible properties. The perception of those potent ingredients does not come from nowhere. They have been proven for centuries in terms of Japanese medication and beautification. I love how Tsai did that, very thoughtful.
Victoria Tsai really imparts the comprehension of skin’s desires as well as brilliantly analyzes people’s general attitudes toward taking care of their skin. Many of us may pay too much attention to slap on the products that we deem ideal, but neglect the things what they are made of to do wonders for the skin’s sake. I’m a beauty junkie, also a fastidious geek, the book is just smashing.
4. Skincare Is Self-Care and Love
While transmitting her signature discoveries, the author did not once stop giving meaningful messages. The Japanese approach focuses on natural aging, instead of the perpetual look of 20. All it wants is “the best skin of your life, at any age.” It navigates us to have a positive view to our lifecycle and embrace our natural selves, this makes our lives healthier and happier. Some cosmetics these days seem very misleading to make us ridiculously young. Then, we keep pursuing that bogus.
This is one of the most flattering parts of the book and every woman needs to know. Moreover, skincare is about meditation and indulgence. Cherish every moment we can take care of ourselves and our imperfections. The true beauty is fulfilled with love.
5. Artistic Design with Vibrant Colors
I really relish the book inside-out, genuinely a work of art. Its cover is subtle and unpretentious with a transition between pink and purple, and there is a blur of yellowish hallo in the middle of the front cover, like breaking dawn. At first glance, the cover design makes it rather look like a novel. You will see the book’s title and author name on the front cover.
There are endpapers inside the front and back of the hardcover, with the summary and sections of the book’s content and short introduction about the author. The decoration with watercolor paintings gives aesthetic pleasure. Elegant and vivid to demonstrate enthusiastic spirit in the book. You will get mesmerized by the sense of elaboration in the Japanese art of simplicity.
The paper is fairly thick and high-quality in a matte finish for watercolor prints. And, The content is well organized and easy to follow with headings and the paintings, which literally sweep me off my feet.
6. My Rating (9/10): Would like to Try out Tatcha Products
After finishing the last page of the book, I’m really looking to try some Tatcha products. I think the book is amazing with in-depth information in regard to Japanese Skincare rituals. I just feel a bit uneasy with a slight comparison between West and East. I’d like to give it 9 out of 10.
Hope that you enjoy the post. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I’d love to hear you out. Thank you so much for joining me!